SailGP Inspire: community outreach programs at Marseille SailGP
Friday, September 13, 2019 4:49 PM
Following a successful launch in Cowes last month, SailGP Inspire – the global championship’s youth and community outreach arm – is working with local community groups to create impactful programming at the Marseille SailGP Season 1 Grand Final, which will take place September 20-22.
Comprising of three pathways – Learning, Careers and Racing – SailGP Inspire strives to revolutionize the way sailing can be used as a force for good. In conjunction with community partner La Ligue SUD de Voile, the program will offer local students and sailors at the final SailGP event of Season 1 a once in a lifetime opportunity to sail and learn beside local sailing idols Billy Besson and Marie Riou of the France SailGP Team.
“Marie and I have been lucky to be encouraged and supported by local organizations such as La Ligue SUD de Voile when we were younger,” said Besson. “Now it’s our turn to share our passion with the next generation through the SailGP Inspire program. I look forward to getting young sailors on the water in Marseille and also helping to stimulate career interests within the sailing industry.”
La Ligue SUD de Voile is a branch of the French Sailing Federation (FF Voile) and is committed to sports organization development while facilitating young people's access to the sport of sailing. Besson and Riou are shining examples of the talent that has graduated through La Ligue.
Through Inspire Racing and the partnership with La Ligue, young sailors will get the unique opportunity to race RS Catamarans in front of a packed grandstand on the same racecourse as the supercharged F50s. A total of 18 local sailors from eight clubs have been selected to participate in the weekend’s activities, with a 50-50 split of boys and girls from each club. The local clubs represented include Club de Voile Roquebrune Cap Martin, Yacht Club de Cannes, Club La Pelle, Societe des Regates d’Antibes, Fos Sur Mer, ASPTT Marseille, Yacht Club de la Pointe Rouge and CN Nice. The aspiring young sailors will not only have the opportunity to showcase their talent during SailGP’s final event of the season, but also meet and rub shoulders with some of the world’s best sailors.
“We are delighted to partner with SailGP, and to have a major and internationally renowned sailing event happening in Marseille contributing to the expansion of our sport,” said La Ligue SUD de Voile President Claude Le Bacquer. “Some of our best junior sailors, supervised by our coaches, will have the amazing opportunity to participate in the exhibition racing ahead of the F50 races and enjoy the main show.”
SailGP Inspire Learning is focused on broadening participation in the sport of sailing. At Marseille SailGP, a group of local students from three organizations – Association AC2N, Association Notre Dame Football Club and Contact Club Association – will be introduced to the sport of sailing for the first time through a variety of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) experiential activities in the SailGP Fan Zone. Once students have tested their skills on land, they will have the opportunity to go afloat and put their newly learned sailing knowledge to the test on the program’s 14-foot RS Catamarans.
Finally, through Inspire Careers, a group of local students from Amos Business School will gain essential work experience at the event and see first-hand the wide range of career opportunities within SailGP. Students will be fully immersed across the organization and will experience roles ranging from hospitality, media operations, and event management, to boat building and engineering.
“It’s integral that SailGP as an organization uses its reach to build a transparent and aspirational platform for all,” said SailGP Youth Program Manager Tom Herbert-Evans. “What we saw in Cowes was just the tip of the iceberg, and we look forward to working with our local partners and building upon our positive impact during Marseille SailGP.”